The recent recall of more than 800,000 Sanofi Pasteur H1N1 pediatric vaccines has no effect on students who received their vaccinations at any of the Kyrene School District’s Mollen Immunization Clinics, according to KSD community relations program manager Nancy Dudenhoefer.
Last week additional immunization clinics were held at KSD schools for children to receive their initial or second round of vaccinations before winter break. KSD’s absentee level has not yet reached the level of 10 percent at any of its schools, which is the mark the school district has set for when parents will be notified of increased flu activity.
In accordance with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, KSD is encouraging students under 10 years old to get two doses of the H1N1 vaccine.
“The first flu vaccine ‘primes’ the immune system, so the second dose can provide full immune system protection,” Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Department of Health, said in a letter sent home to KSD parents. “Younger children receive little protection from a single dose of flu vaccine so two doses are necessary.”
Although the level of H1N1 flu has been declining in Arizona, England encouraged parents not to ease up on flu prevention practices.
“History tells us to expect a third wave of the epidemic, perhaps during our regular flu season next month, or later in the spring,” England said. “When the third wave happens, we expect to again see it start in schools and seriously affect many children.”
KSD is keeping up with flu prevention tactics. While school is in session, each night the KSD custodial staff cleans the schools with approved cleaning products that kill various germs, viruses and organisms.
In order to stay healthy and avoid the H1N1 virus, children and adults alike should:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay at home when you are sick.
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
• Wash your hands often.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Practice other good health habits like getting plenty of sleep and drinking plenty of fluids.
For more information on immunization clinics and dates, visit www.StopTheSpreadAZ.org.